Cabletron's future cause for concern

Despite having some strong products, the viability of Cabletron as a whole is a concern, Meta Group has warned.

Speaking at Meta Group's regional executive briefing in Sydney last week, Michelle McLean, program director from Meta Group, said Cabletron "really needs to get bought" to give customers some long-term viability.

According to McLean, Cabletron's network management tool Spectrum is the number 2 product in the network management market, behind Hewlett-Packard's Open View.

Cabletron's Smart Switch products are also strong players, she said.

However, with the recent consolidation within the industry, and without an attractive suitor in the wings, Cabletron risks fading into the background in the future, McLean said.

"Nortel slapped it in the face when it bought Bay," McLean said, adding that Cabletron was key partners with Nortel and Alcatel, which recently acquired Xylan.

"It's not like it is going to go out of business [soon], but it is not going to have an attractive buyer," McLean said. "It is going to be around for a while longer in whatever way it can manage."

Echoing sentiments already felt in the industry, McLean said: "The really smart thing to do is to sell off [the Spectrum business] completely.

"In reality, Spectrum is Cabletron's most valued asset."

McLean said Ericsson and Nokia appear to be the best positioned companies to acquire Cabletron, but other more marginal players may also be interested.

Cabletron Australia's managing director, Ian Fewtrell, dismissed the Meta comments, saying "the only thing they [Meta] got correct was the spelling of the name".

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